Audra McDonald Negotiating to Join Disney's Live-Action Beauty and the Beast

News   Audra McDonald Negotiating to Join Disney's Live-Action Beauty and the Beast
Six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald is in final negotiations to come aboard Disney's forthcoming live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

She would join a cast that already includes Emma Watson, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline and Emma Thompson. McDonald would play Garderobe, the singing wardrobe closet.

Audra McDonald
Audra McDonald Photo by ABC

Beauty and the Beast is scheduled to be released in 3D March 17, 2017. The film will feature original songs from the 1991 film and its subsequent Broadway adaptation that was written by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. Menken and Rice will also write new songs to be featured in the film.

Emma Watson ("Harry Potter") will star as Belle, with "Downton Abbey" star Dan Stevens as the Beast, Luke Evans ("The Hobbit," "Dracula: Untiold") as Gaston and Tony Award-nominated Book of Mormon star Josh Gad as Le Fou. Thompson has joined the cast as Mrs. Potts, while Kline has been revealed to play Belle's father, Maurice.

According to Disney, "The beloved tale will be retold for the big screen with a modern live-action lens and the help of transformative CG magic."

Bill Condon, who directed the film adaptation of the musical Dreamgirls and penned the screenplay for the film adaptation of Chicago, will direct the film. Production begins in May at Shepperton Studios in London.

The live-action film will feature a script by Stephen Chbosky. David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman produce.

The 1991 animated film of "Beauty and the Beast" won Academy Awards for Best Music, Original Song and Best Music, Original Score. The 1994 Broadway stage adaptation was nominated for nine Tony Awards, winning for Costume Design (Ann Hould-Ward).

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